Hatay, Dec 07: After winning the opening game, the Grandmaster Koneru Humpy will play against the International master Jovanka Houska, from England in the second round of the World Women’s chess championship. Humpy won her first match quite easily by defeating the South Africa’s Melissa Greef, with 2-0 margin, but will have to play a very tough opponent in the next round with Houska, who has already beaten few Grandmasters in the past. In the first round itself three Indians out of five in the contest, were eliminated and accompanying Humpy, will be another Indian D Harika, who is also Grandmaster holder, will face Russia’s Tatiana Shadrina in the second round.
The present tournament is of 64 participants and now there are only 34 players left, who will be competing for prize money of USD 450,000, and two Indians Humpy and Harika are among the favourites to be reaching through pre-quarter finals. The biggest upset in the first round was the elimination of Grandmaster Pia Cramling, who was beaten by local player Betul Cemre Yildiz who is stuck in the tournament for the title win of championship. Besides, in the tie-breaker games there were no major shocks or surprises. A little upset was caused though by China’s Zhang Xiowen, who knocked out Lilit Mkrtchian of Armenia.
The other players, who were gone through second round last night, were Chinese duo Huang Qian and Ruan Lufei besides Zhang Xiowen, Elisabeth Paehtz of Germany, Hoang Thanh Trang of Hungary, Almira Skripchenko of France and Yelena Dembo of Greece. In this way there were inclusions of 25 participants overnight. Among the previous winners Elisabeth Paehtz defeated Iolanta Zawadzka very easily by having victory in both of the rapid games. The only tie-breaker that went through the wires was between Cristina Adela Foisar of Romania and Almira Skripchenko.